Alerts in Microsoft SharePoint 2010

Shameem Ahmed 26 October 2011 2




 

Microsoft SharePoint 2010 provides a notification service called Alerts.  Alerts can be used to notify user(s) of events happening on the SharePoint content. For example, Alerts can be set on the following content for the following events.

  1. When a new document is added to a document library
  2. When a document is deleted from a document library
  3. When a task is assigned to a user
  4. When a task is completed

Settings for Alerts to work

Alerts can be sent using Email or SMS.  SharePoint 2010 should be configured with out-going email and mobile account settings for Email and SMS to work respectively.
This is an administration task and can be done using the following steps:

Configuring email

  1. Open SharePoint 2010 Central Administration
  2. Select System Settings from the left panel
  3. Select Configure outgoing e-mail settings from E-Mail and Text Messaging (SMS)
  4. 002001
  5. Type SMTP Server, From address and Reply-to address and click OK.
  6. 002002

Configuring SMS

Configuring a mobile account in SharePoint 2010 requires a third-party service compatible with Office Mobile Service (OMS) protocol. Click on Microsoft Office Online link in Configure mobile account page (check the image in step 4) for a list of service providers and trial offers.

  1. Open SharePoint 2010 Central Administration
  2. Select System Settings from the left panel
  3. Select Configure mobile account from E-Mail and Text Messaging (SMS)
  4. 002003
  5. Type URL, user name and passwordof the third-party service account and click OK.
  6. 002004

Alert options will start appearing in the SharePoint 2010 user interface once outgoing email and SMS settings are set in Central administration. Whilst SMS setting is optional, outgoing email is required for Alerts to work in SharePoint 2010; obviously users of SharePoint 2010 should have valid email and mobile phone numbers stored in their respective profiles.
Now that outgoing email and SMS settings are set in SharePoint 2010. Let’s work on a user story that demonstrates Alerts in a real business situation.

User Story

Bob is a customer support manager at ABC Corp. dealing with computer sales. His team consists of the following members:

  1. Robert, customer support executive dealing with customer calls
  2. Andy, customer on-site support service executive
  3. Rebecca, customer support executive dealing with customer enquiries
  4. Ivan, sales executive

ABC Corp. has provided Bob and his team with a SharePoint 2010 team site that consists of the following document libraries:

  1. Customer complaints – managed by Robert
  2. Customer on-site support – managed by Robert and Andy
  3. Customer enquiries – managed by Rebecca
  4. Customer sales enquiries – managed by Rebecca and Ivan

Robert and Rebecca record support calls and enquiries as and when they arrive in SharePoint 2010. Because Andy and Ivan are field workers and out-of-office most of the time, they need some kind of notification to plan their support or sales call during field work.
Bob, as the head of the team, also needs to keep track on his team and its activities. He requests a daily email that will summarize all support and sales calls made by his team.

Solution

Solutions for this can easily be created using SharePoint 2010 Alerts feature. After analysing the user story, the following Alerts were identified:

  1. Notify Andy via SMS whenever there is a new customer on-site support call
  2. Notify Ivan via email whenever there is a new customer sales enquiry
  3. Send a daily email summary of all customer complaints to Bob
  4. Send a daily email summary of all customer enquiries to Bob

Step 1: Notify Andy via SMS whenever there is a new customer on-site support call

Follow these steps to create an SMS Alert:

  1. Open the Customer on-site support library
  2. Select Library tabs from the ribbon
  3. Select Set alert on this library from the Alert Me button
  4. The New Alert pop-up window appears
  5. Select Andy in the Send alert to, users box
  6. Select Text message (SMS) in Delivery method, verify the mobile number of Andy
  7. Select New items are added in Change type
  8. Select Send notification immediately in When to send alerts

002005

The New Alert window should match the image below.

002006

That’s it; Andy will start receiving SMS soon after the Alert is saved.

Step 2: Notify Ivan via email whenever there is a new customer sales enquiry

  1. Open the Customer sales enquiries library
  2. Select Library tabs from the ribbon
  3. Select Set alert on this library from the Alert Me button
  4. The New Alert pop-up window appears
  5. Select Ivan in the Send alert to, users box
  6. Select Email in Delivery method
  7. Select New items are added in Change type
  8. Select Send notification immediately in When to send alerts

The New Alert window should match with the image below.

002007

That’s it; Ivan will start receiving Email soon after the Alert is saved.

Step 3: Send daily email summary of all customer complaints to Bob

  1. Open the Customer complaints library
  2. Select Library tabs from the ribbon
  3. Select Set alert on this library from the Alert Me button
  4. The New Alert pop-up window appears
  5. Select Bob in the Send alert to, users box
  6. Select Email in Delivery method
  7. Select All changes in Change type
  8. Select Send a daily summary in When to send alerts
  9. Select at what time the email should go daily, in this case 7:00 PM
  10. The New Alert window should match the image below.

002008

That’s it; Bob will start receiving emails soon after the Alert is saved on a daily basis.

Step 4: Send daily email summary of all customer enquiries to Bob

The process is the same as Step 3, except instead of the Customer complaints document library we use Customer enquiries instead. The finished New Alert window should match with the below image.

002009

Guidelines for using SharePoint Alerts

Though Alerts is a great feature of SharePoint 2010, over using it can result in a performance penalty on SharePoint 2010 server, the email server, and related services. Follow these guidelines to use Alerts more effectively:

  1. Use Alerts only when necessary
  2. Try to create alerts for a group of users instead of creating individual alerts for each user.
  3. Use summary options for sending alerts wherever possible instead of using the send immediately option.
  4. Use the Manage my alerts option to check how many alerts are currently running. Remove alerts that are not required anymore.

Summary

Alerts is a great feature of SharePoint 2010. Just by using few clicks, end users can create alerts for themselves and their team that will send email or SMS to notify them of important events happening to their content. The options available in the Alert me dialog box are self-explanatory.

  • Alerts can be added to one or multiple users at the same time
  • Alerts can be an email or SMS to the user’s mobile number
  • Events can range from all changes to new items created, items deleted etc.
  • Tracking changes such as someone has modified an item or document created or modified by a specific user
  • Frequency of alerts, e.g. immediately on changes or on a daily or weekly basis





Shameem Ahmed (370 Posts)

2 Comments »

  1. Jan 28 February 2013 at 1:54 pm - Reply

    the SUMMARY concept in SP2010 Alerts seems to have been translated into DETAILED. When specifying to receive a Daily/Weekly SUMMARY, I expect to receive a list of changed entries and not all details of each entry. This is not the 1st time that Microsoft screws up a feature that worked well.

  2. gogi 4 June 2013 at 1:17 pm - Reply

    i have a problem with sharepoint 2010. i configured ozeki for oms and this configuration works on ms outlook 2010, but i want that my sharepoint 2010 send alert over sms. i installed certificate into trusted root of sharepoint, i set url, use, password, but i cannot send sms over ozeki. the users receive alert over email instead sms when i set alert me on documents in my intrasite. what i do?

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